BRC Public Lands Policy Director to Take Well-Deserved Break

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September 26, 2013 9:27 PM

Brian Hawthorne, through the years with BRC.

CONTACT
     Greg Mumm, BRC Executive Director
     Email: brgreg@sharetrails.org
     Phone: 1-800-258-3742

After 14 years of working to protect the rights and privileges of OHV and snowmobile enthusiasts, our Public Lands Policy Director, Brian Hawthorne, is taking some well-deserved time off. Brian will be leaving BRC for an extended sabbatical beginning November 1, 2013.

"Everyone at BRC will miss Brian's tenacious advocacy," said Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director. "Brian has been hugely effective in his role with the BlueRibbon Coalition, and we all wish him well as he enjoys a change of scenery and some richly deserved time on the trails he has worked so hard to keep open."  Mumm added, "Brian's will be some tough shoes to fill in his absence."

Brian has some thoughts and musings as he is preparing to take his leave that we think are important to share with the OHV community. 

From Brian:

As of November 1, 2013, I'll be leaving my position here at BRC. After 14 years of working as an advocate for OHV and snowmobile users, I need some time off.

Fifteen years ago I was volunteering for the Utah Trail Machine Association when Rainer Huck, a long-time Utah OHV advocate and friend, asked me to come on board for a short two year stint with a new group, the Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL).

That two year stint turned into a complete career change and it's been quite a ride!

I admit that my motivation for working at USA-ALL was very self serving. I fell in love with the red rock roads, trails and landscape of southern Utah. When I learned that a bunch of wealthy trust funders wanted to close my trails, I wanted to fight them.

One of my first experiences with public lands planning was participating in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument's management plan. In the process, I spent a month living and attending meetings in Escalante, Tropic, Orderville and Kanab, Utah. I learned a lot during those weeks. Including the astonishing fact that.... people lived there!

You see, I had known southern Utah only as a recreation destination and I hadn't quite understood that I was recreating in someone's back yard!

The people living next to these vast areas of public lands have a rich and unique history and culture. That culture, and my trails, were under attack by the same people. That realization changed my life. Suddenly, access advocacy became more than just a selfish attempt at keeping my roads and trails open. In the most profound way possible, I had become aware of the true aims of these radical environmentalists.

Moving to BRC gave me an opportunity to "up my game" as they say. It has been a dream job. I've loved it. I still love it. But its time to take some time off and enjoy the trails we've worked so hard to protect.

I imagine you'll hear from me from time to time. Until then, I'm hitting the trail and re-charging my batteries. See you on the trail!

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BLUERIB - http://www.sharetrails.org.

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